Shin Azumi was born in Kobe, Japan in 1965. After finishing his MA in Industrial Design at the Royal College of Art in 1994, he started working as a design unit ‘AZUMI’. In 2005, he established his own office ‘a studio’ in London.

The clients list of ‘a studio’ includes lapalma, Magis, Desalto, Muji, Authentics, Guzzini and many other international brands.

Shin Azumi’s work has received numerous design awards in Europe and in Japan, amongst which the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize in 2004, the Blueprint 100% Design Award in 2003 and “Product of the Year, 2000” FX International Design Award (for the LEM stool).

His works were acquired as permanent collection by Victoria & Albert Museum (UK), Stedelijk Museum (Holland), Crafts Council (UK), Die Neue Sammlung (Germany), Museum für Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt (Germany), etc.

He is a visiting professor of Osaka University of Arts and a lecturer of Vitra Design Museum Workshop and so on. He also took part in the jury of numerous design awards such as, IF Design Award (DE), DT Design Award (JPN), Design Report Award (DE / IT), FX International Design Award (UK), Kokuyo Design Award (JPN), etc.

Architonic interviews Shin Azumi, 2011

Architonic interviewed Case designer Shin Azumi in 2011 about his new furniture series Nara for Danish manufacturer Fredericia Furniture.

“The initial concept for the NARA series was to create minimal structure while provid­ing a maximum level of comfort. Shin Azumi wanted to express the sculptural beauty of solid timber and create comfortable furniture from a simple wooden structure. Thus the NARA series pays homage to traditional Scandinavian design while at the same time cre­ating a new aesthetic language of its own. During the manufacture of other furniture large amounts of waste are produced. Many small but good quality pieces of timber are often discarded. Shin Azumi’s Nara Coat Stand design takes usually wasted pieces and uses them in a maximised way, creat­ing a beautiful and elegant coat stand with minimal material wastage.”


Shin Azumi born in Kobe, Japan
Graduated from Kyoto City University of Art
Began working for Japanese electronics group NEC
Won a place on the industrial design course at London's Royal College of Art
Attained Masters Degree at the Royal College of Art
Founded the design unit 'AZUMI' with Tomoko Azumi
Designed Wire Frame Chair
Designed LEM Stool
Designed Zoetrope Lamp
Became workshop lecturer hosted by the Vitra Design Museum
Closed design unit 'AZUMI'
Shin Azumi's 'a studio' founded
Designed Trace Chair
Curated the exhibition Open Your Mind, Milan
Designed FlowLounge Series
Exhibition Shin Azumi and Norman McLaren
Designed 24/7 bedroom furniture series
Became visiting Professor of Osaka University of Arts
Designed Covet Desk and Particle Shelving
Exhibition Breeze in the Dark invited by Cosmit at Salone del Mobile, Milan
Became visiting Professor of Kobe Design University
Designed Large Planter permanent installation at Grand Front Osaka, Japan

Breezescape by Shin Azumi

Azumi’s latest project is ‘Breezescape’ – an experimental installation of kinetic objects with a ‘mobile’ structure. The entire scenery moves gently with the airflow of the room as if free from gravity, and in turn the graphical composition of the projected shadow changes with the movement.

This work aims to reveal the beauty of natural phenomena in a strong physical way which is normally invisible in our daily life.

Three mobiles have been developed for the exhibition:

  • Block Mobile – Large white square section columns are connected to create a 2m high mobile.
  • Stick Mobile –Thin blue sticks are connected to form a mobile. Multiple numbers of these units fill the ceiling of the space.
  • Flower Mobile – Carnation silk flowers are suspended from a mobile structure using long, almost invisible thread.


Peugeot Design Awards / Ceramic, at Oxo Tower Wharf. UK - Snowman Salt & Pepper Shakers
Good Design Award, JIDPO, . Japan - TOA / H-1 directional speaker, TOA / H-2 directional speaker
FX International Interior Design Awards, UK. "Product of the Year" LEM stool
Good Design Award, JIDPO. Japan - TOA / H-3 wide angle speaker, TOA / HB-1 Sub Woofer
FX International Interior Design Awards, UK, "Furniture of the Year" HM30 sofa
FX International Interior Design Awards, UK. "Best Public Space Lighting" Himi Fish Lamp
FX International Interior Design Awards, UK. "Best Furniture for Public Space " Orbital Workstation
Blueprint 100% Design Award, Best Contributor
Elle Decoration Award & Best Furniture . Ship Shape by Isokon Plus ,Jerwood Applied Art Prize, Finalisted
Good Design Award, JIDPO, Japan - TOA / ER-1106 megaphone
Victoria & Albert Museum / Homes & Gardens Classic Design Award for Air Switch Az by Mathmos
Good Design Award, JIDPO, Japan - FlowLounge office furniture series
Good Design Award, Special Award of S & M Enterprises. Japan - Za bench system by Lapalma
Victoria & Albert Museum / Homes & Gardens Classic Design Award 2008 UK - Yauatcha Tea Set
Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2009. Category: Furniture / Lighting product - Lem Stool by Lapalma
Classic Innovation Award 2010, imm Cologne, Germany - LEM Stool by lapalma Good Design Award
Good Design Award, JIDPO, Japan - Banquette / Cox by Estic
Good Design Award, JIDPO, Japan - Isle by Estic
Good Design Award, JIDPO, Japan - Cox Lounge Chair by Estic
Best 100 of Good Design Award, JIDPO, Japan - Cacomi Meeting System by Itoki
Good Design Award, JIDPO, Japan - 24/7 Bed by Asleep


LEM Stool, 2000

The LEM Stool was designed by Shin and Tomoko Azumi in 2000. Named Product of the Year at the International Interior Design Awards in 2000, Shin and Tomoko Azumi’s LEM Stool (2000) reveals rigorous and original rethinking of the form and function of seating.

The LEM Stool’s sculptural leather, stainless steel or beech wood seat not only swivels but also adjusts easily from a counter height (26.5″) to a bar height (31″) with a lever that activates a gas cylinder.

While utility strongly determines the form of this unique stool, it also has a visual lightness that creates the illusion of freedom from gravity. The Azumi Design Studio has brought innovation to a range of products, running the gamut from sub woofer speakers to salt and pepper dispensers, combining fine craftsmanship with an adventurous grasp on the avant garde.

Their LEM Stool is included in the permanent collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. This contract-quality seat suits both commercial and residential environments. Made in Italy.

LEM Stool image courtesy Design Within Reach

Covet desk for Case

Japanese-born Shin Azumi has designed a new home office desk for Case Furniture. Its simple, practical design has an innovative storage solution integrated into its solid Oak or walnut frame, which supports a large glass work surface. This creates an aesthetically pleasing desk, with its clean lines and strongly defined structure it is perfect for the home office environment.

Fact Sheet

Full name
Shin Azumi
1965, Kobe, Japan
Kyoto City University of Art, Japan
Alma mater
Royal College of Art, MA in industrial design
Product designer
lapalma, Magis, Desalto, Muji, Authentics, Guzzini, Tefal, Frederica, Itoki, Case Furniture
Known for
LEM stool

Products by Shin Azumi

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